Probate

How can we help?

When someone passes away leaving a will, the executors may need to obtain what is known as ‘probate’ from the Probate Registry to allow them to give effect to the terms of the will. But not all estates need probate. Other issues arise, for instance some estates will have Inheritance Tax to pay and others may not.

Sorting through all these issues can be daunting. You might feel that you need to be pointed in the right direction or you may feel that you just need help with competing the tax forms. You may want someone to take the whole thing off  your hands.

We can help.

Set out below are our fixed fees for helping with certain aspects of probate. We can offer a tailored fixed fee in cases where we are more involved.

If you think that we may be able to help you, please get in touch. 

** Read our recent article on administering an estate during a pandemic **

Fixed Fees

  • Making an application for probate (where tax is already paid or where an IHT 400 has already been filed and approved by HMRC) – £750 + VAT
  • Completion of IHT 205 form (i.e. where no inheritance tax is payable by the estate) and completion/submission of the application for probate – £1,500 – £2,000 + VAT
  • Completion of IHT 400 (i.e. where inheritance tax either is or maybe payable by the estate), including completion of any schedules to the IHT 400 form and completion/submission of the application for probate – £2,500 – £3,000 + VAT

The above fixed fees assume that the client provides us with all the information needed to populate the forms where we are completing the IHT forms. These fixed fees also assume that, once probate is granted, the client will collect in the assets and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. If we are asked to collect some or all of the information needed to complete either the IHT forms or the application for probate, this additional work is charged at our hourly rate.

More complex probates (i.e. where the cost involved is harder to predict) are usually paid for on an hourly rate basis. In such cases, we provide a cost estimate at the start of the matter and keep that estimate under review every month so that the client knows how much the work is costing.

Hourly Rates

For work charged on an hourly basis, our current rates are as follows: –

  • Andrew Guile & Barbara Thorne (senior solicitors) – £315 + VAT
  • Chryso Loizides & Oscar Sotiriou-Martinez (solicitors) – £205 + VAT
  • Paralegal/Trainee Solicitor – £140 + VAT

Cost estimate for a simple, uncomplicated probate

While no two estates are the same, and unforeseen complications can arise at any time, our charge for a simple and uncomplicated probate (i.e. where, in addition to completing the IHT forms and applying for probate, we collect in the estate assets and distribute the estate to beneficiaries in accordance with the will) is normally in the region of £3,000 – £6,000 + VAT and disbursements, the upper end of this bracket being where tax is payable on the estate.

Please note – unlike many law firms, we do not charge our clients a percentage of the value of the estate.

Disbursements

‘Disbursements’ are expenses that we pay on your behalf. During probate, these commonly are: –

  • Land Registry fee of £3
  • Bankruptcy search fees of £36
  • Financial Asset search fees of approximately £180
  • Court fee of £155 (for application of the Grant) and £1.50 for each sealed copy
  • Statutory advertisement fees of approximately £200 (if required).

These are disbursements of the estate and are paid once funds are available.

Are you eligible for Legal Aid?

For more information about Legal Aid and if you might be eligible, please feel free to contact us.

Contacts for the service

Director/Solicitor
Consultant Solicitor

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Tuesdays 2 pm - 4.30 pm (at the office). Online 'virtual' appointments also available any week day. By appointment only.

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